“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” — Hal Borland
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t particularly think of the new year as a momentous occasion – life is full of events, some big, most not. All of which form us, help us grow, change us – good and bad. The start of a new calendar year is one more step along the way. But, introspective soul that I am, I do reflect, often, and it is a new year. And, since it is customary, I shall do some reflecting on the past year, and some future forecasting (even though my crystal ball broke years ago), but no resolutions.
This past year has been more of a source of reflection for me than most. The tail end of 2016 saw the loss of my oldest friend to cancer, and over the course of 2017, three more friends, of varying degrees, also passed away. Two to cancer, one suddenly – a tragic incident. All gone too soon. Two with still young children. It’s human nature, that degree of narcissism that makes us contemplate ourselves when tragedy strikes. But it does give one pause and forces us to rethink our priorities when we are confronted with how fleeting life is – and how little we can control.
But the year was far from all sorrow, and life re-assessments. On balance, it was still a good year. We are all healthy, if older, and mostly happy. I finished my certificate program, and found a great volunteer opportunity to use it. My husband and I had a two week vacation with no kids for the first time in 25 years. My inner idealistic, semi-radical, self has regained its footing now that the kids are older and retirement is getting closer. I marched for science. We finally got the deck redone putting us one step closer to selling the house. Somehow, this blog has muddled along, in spite of my weak attention this year. I failed to finish NaNoWriMo this year, but in spite of no free time, I managed over 30k words. It’s been a good year, on balance.
The future? For the blog, I will continue with my rather eclectic posting approach (it’s name is Time For My Thoughts, after all). 3 days a week still works, but I’m planning to increase that to 4 days a week later in the year. I kept the 2016 theme for 2017 because I like it, and lacked the time to test changes. I confess that I have been testing changes recently, so it is very likely that I’ll change themes fairly soon. Or not. I really do like the clean look of the 2016 theme. (For those of you not familiar with WordPress, themes are formats.)
For life outside the blog? I know a few things (& don’t know more). Elder daughter is planning a trip home in June for her sister’s graduation. Younger daughter will be leaving for college (where is still undecided, but she has already received several acceptances & scholarship offers), and we will be empty nesters. Which is good because we really do want to sell the house. The house will most likely be ready to put on the market by the summer, but that assumes a Herculean effort to get rid of things. Whether we stay local whenever the house is sold, or head to warmer climes depends, in part, on the which college question. There are, as always, many things that can happen, and many variables in the mix, the important thing is how we adapt – not whether we can rigidly adhere to a plan. If we get too caught up in the plans, life just whizzes by in the blink of an eye.
And so we use the calendar to mark the passage of time, but relying too much on the calendar to map the future takes some of the spontaneity out of life.
Whatever your views on calendars, crystal balls, or resolutions, I wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful 2018.
Photo of the Pillars of Creation courtesy of NASA.